ISLAMABAD - Much to the dismay of inflation-stricken common citizens interested to get new gas connection on urgent basis, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has sought from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to jack up the gas connection fee heavily.

Well-informed sources in petroleum ministry told TheNation that the state-owned gas utility (SNGPL) has submitted a plea in the regulatory authority (OGRA) and sought to fix Rs 25,000 a new urgent gas connection fee for those people who are desperate to get new gas connection on urgent basis. They told that the OGRA has accepted the plea of the gas company for public hearing.

At present, the new gas connection fee stands at Rs 3,000. But if the OGRA, mandated with a task to protect the rights of consumers, approves the SNGPL plea and jacks up the fee then over burdened masses already bearing heavy brunt of unchecked inflation and increasing artificial price hike coupled with rising trend of oil and power prices for a long time would find further miseries in future.

As per the SNGPL plea, annually 5 per cent common citizens interested to have urgent gas connection would be facilitated with this facility and urgent gas connection would be given within three months after the payment of certain fee. 

Official sources in the SNGPL told this scribe that above three lakh applications seeking new gas connections are lying pending with the gas utility. The OGRA has accepted the SNGPL plea for hearing and a schedule of hearing would be issued later. And, the SNGPL has sought increase in the urgent gas connection fee by giving a hike on account of new urgent gas connection fee. The gas utility has pleaded to jack up the fee from Rs3,000 and  set it at Rs25,000.